BISMARCK, N.D.-North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm announced today that he has approved a 7.9 percent rate increase for Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota's (BCBS) group policies.
BCBS originally requested a 14.9 percent increase for group policies last fall. Then, following the resolution of disputed contract language in January 2009 concerning payments to health care providers, BCBS revised its request to an 11.4 percent increase.
Today's announcement of an agreement on a 7.9 percent rate increase comes after extensive negotiations with BCBS.
"This is a seven percent reduction from the original request, and an amount that is far better for consumers than what was initially asked for," Hamm said.
He continued, "I am very pleased that the company came to the table to resolve this rate request. It achieves a positive result for consumers, and reflects the reality of the increased costs of health care."
The rate increase will be effective July 1, 2009 and will last through the end of the year. Approximately 113,000 North Dakotans are covered under group policies through BCBS.